Piloting a gratitude intervention in a community mental health team
Keywords:<i>gratitude</i>, <i>thankfulness</i>, <i>positive psychology</i>, <i>workshops</i>, <i>CMHT</i>
‘Gratitude is not only the greatest of all virtues, but the parent of all the others’ (Cicero). Gratitude has been incorporated into a number of positive psychology intervention programmes, see for example Seligman’s gratitude visit. While its anecdotal benefits have long been known, empirical evidence for the benefits of gratitude, has only been accumulating in the last decade. The authors piloted two gratitude workshops, with a month of gratitude diary keeping, for nine service users attending a community mental health team. Pre and post questionnaire assessment showed a number of positive benefits resulting from the intervention. Participants reported being thankful for more things in their lives, had improved Life Satisfaction, greater environmental mastery, and higher social feelings. All four changes were statistically significant. Separate vignettes provide feedback from the workshop organiser, a service user co-facilitator and a participant. Suggestions are offered for taking this work forward.